Thursday, July 17, 2014

And here we are...

And here we are...slacking again.  This post is for my friend Teresa, because I ran into her at MemoryBound Scrapbook Store yesterday, and was again reminded that I haven't been very good about making time for me and my personal endeavors lately.  However, I did recently take the Claudine Hellmuth Composition for Collage workshop on Big Picture Classes, so I have done SOME crafty's pics from that class to prove that I'm trying...really get back to making time for craftiness!

First Week - Asymmetry

Second Week - Horizon Line

Third Week - Vignette

Fourth Week - Grid Format

So I'm getting a few crafty things done in the name of my sanity.  Today, I worked on Halloween the bases completely prepped and assembled, and everything stamped and ready to color.  And I already have a plan in mind for Thanksgiving cards, so we're making progress.  I'm not making any promises on keeping this blog more up-to-date, but I'm going to try!!!  Night all :)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Take the Long View...

So my sister sent me this article this morning:  How Obama's Reforms to Overtime Law Will Change People's Lives.  Here's the thing...I work retail...I absolutely agree that working salaried can definitely be a challenge.  I spent the early years of my retail career killing myself for 80 hours a week every week and only getting paid for 40.  I get it.  The problem is this: every time we make changes like this...raising minimum wage...changing the minimum to qualify for salary...nobody is really taking the long view on what that means.  Nobody is thinking about the ramifications of these changes. Everyone sees the benefit but ignores the cost.

Yes.  On the surface, it makes sense.  People work more, they should get paid more.  And I'll be the first to admit that when I've worked 7 days a week because somebody quit, or I've pulled an 11 hour day because we just didn't have the payroll to call someone else in...I did the math.  And it was annoying.  And when I worked 23 days in a row one summer because everyone quit...I felt slighted.  Here's the thing though...salaried managers already DO get additional benefits for working more.  Being a salaried manager, as opposed to an hourly/part-time employee gets you things insurance, paid vacation, paid sick time, and often other options and benefits.  Not to mention, salaried managers have the benefit of knowing that when payroll gets cut...when everyone else gets cut to one shift a week and is only bringing home a quarter of their normal paycheck for that week... they're getting a full check.  It's the price of stability, really.

Now, say they deserve all that anyway.  I don't disagree with all.  In fact, I think many times they've earned all of that and more.  But for a moment, let's consider what's REALLY going to happen if these changes occur.  If this all becomes mandated, nobody is giving retailers (or other employers) extra money to pay their staff.  Staffing for top notch customer service is more important than ever, and pricing is often a dealbreaker in this economy.  No new money is coming in and nothing is getting any cheaper.  Something's gotta give.  So where does the money come from, you ask?  Here's what going to happen...companies are going to raise the salary to the NEW minimum...and cut benefits to make up the difference.  That vacation time you were going to earn?  Probably not.  Getting part of your healthcare plan paid for?  You don't need can just sign up for Obamacare at double the cost now anyway...everyone wins, right?  Not all companies will do this...but the companies that are already taking advantage will continue to take advantage.  And those are the companies that these laws are aimed at.  The companies that care about work-life balance will continue to care about work-life balance, just like they always have.  At the end of the day, everything is exactly the same in a slightly more convoluted way.

This is the reality we live in folks.  Money doesn't just drop out of the sky to fund changes like this.  Everyone is just doing what they need to do to get by...individuals and businesses alike.  And yeah...some companies should do better by their employees...and some employees should do better by the companies too.  It is what it is.  Just try to look at the long view before you jump on the bandwagon. 

And that's the end of my rant...promise :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Yep...I've got a problem.  I went on a LOVELY mini vacation to Michigan this past week for some much needed crafty time with Heather.  *happy dance*  Much to my delight (and my bank account's dismay), we stopped at a couple of scrapbook stores and I found more stamps!  I can't help it...they had a bunch of stuff none of the stores here have!  :)  Oh yeah, plus I'm a sucker.  Anyway, as long as I had already made the investment, I figured I may as well get some coloring's one...more to follow in a another post :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Color Obsessed...

Have I ever mentioned that I'm madly in love with Elisabeth Bell stamps?  I ordered some a couple of weeks ago, and this one finally came in today...I spent all evening stamping and coloring, and I'm obsessed!

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Should Live in a Bubble...

So\, first off, I'd like to say that I've been TRYING to post about some crafting I did last week since last Wednesday, but for some reason, Blogger is refusing to load any of my photos.  So as soon as I get that sorted out, I'll get that post up too.  This four posts a month thing isn't going very well so far!  Oh well.  That said, on to my story...

So, it's a good thing "Survival of the Fittest" isn't as hard and fast a rule as it once was.  For the past two and a half weeks, I've had agonizing back, "call off from work, go home and lay in bed with a heating pad and an ice pack and a bottle of Advil and cry" kinda pain.  On top of that, I was just generally achy all over and had some other random symptoms that I decline to share in such a public 

Now, back pain is nothing new for me.  At first, I thought I just overdid it at work.  And then the other symptoms started...and then my back pain was so bad that it was causing abdominal pain just compensating for it.  And it just wasn't NORMAL.  It was worse in the afternoon than it was in the morning, which is unusual.  Just everything was wrong.  I was just about to make a doctor's appointment, and I made one last brain-racking attempt at figuring out what had changed in the last two weeks.  Literally, the only thing that was different was that I had started taking vitamins. 

So, I threw out my own advice of not searching for medical info on the internet, and started looking up side effects for multivitamins.  And whaddaya know...a list of 8 symptoms popped up on a reputable website and I had half of them.  I tested out my theory by stopping the vitamins, and two days later, I'm pain free.  Seriously. 

The worst part of this whole story is that they were Adult GUMMY Vitamins.  What kind of person has an adverse reaction to GUMMY vitamins?!?  So that's my story for the week, and proof that healthy choices are trying to kill me!  :)  Just kidding.  Well...half kidding anyway.  Have a good night all, and don't forget to skip your vitamins tonight!  :)

Treating Myself...

**Okay, so two weeks after I wrote this post, I finally downloaded Mozilla Firefox (thanks for the suggestion Teresa!), and was able to upload the photos so I could FINALLY post it.  Hooray!

Today was the first of two days in a row off this week, neither of which I have to leave town for!  Hooray!  It's been a rather exciting day :)  I managed to drag my butt out of bed at a reasonably early hour and went and picked up breakfast (and some extras for lunch) at La very favorite little French bakery.  After that, I came home and wrapped up labeling and organizing my stamps in my new cabinet from Hobby Lobby (thank you, 40% off coupon, for making this purchase possible).

Then, I took a three hour nap.  Yep.  Three hours.  It was a-mazing.  If I could make a trip back to my kindergarten self, I would definitely try to explain the true beauty of naps.  Then, on to craftiness!  I did some coloring...

 I got a couple of cards done for some friends, and as long as I was going out to mail them anyway, I decided to make a couple of stops.  I tracked down my Kohl's coupon and the Kohl's Cash mom gave me last time I was home, and managed to get myself a lovely new Vera Wang purse for FREE!  :)  And when I was heading home, I swung by the grocery store and got myself some flowers for Valentine's Day before they're all picked over and sad-looking.

And when I got home from that, I worked on St. Patrick's Day cards.  All-in-all, it was a fabulously relaxing day.  I'm glad I've got another one just like it planned for tomorrow :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Incredible 4000 Mile Month...

Well, it's January 26th, and considering this is my first post of the month, I can admit I'm not doing to hot on that "4 posts a month" New Year's Intention.  It's possible I could still make it, but I'm not going to force it either. 

Here's the thing...this month has been CRAZY!  For starters, I haven't had a day off at my apartment since...the 2nd, I think.  Mom's had two eye surgeries, and I had to travel to St. Louis for work (which means I had to drop my dogs off at Mom's house first...which, from Des Moines, is no small feat in itself).  Feeling a little defeated, sitting at yet another gas station waiting for my car to fill up, I added it all up, and realized I'd be logging in over 4000 miles this month.  Yeow!

Call it my competitive nature, but I sort of feel like that's a win.  lol :)  So I may have accomplished nothing at my apartment, and I may feel like I need about 4 days of sleep to catch up, but at least I win on most miles logged, right? 

Despite all the craziness, it actually has been a pretty great month.  Mom's surgeries went really well, and there's been a lot of improvement in her vision overall, so that's a big win.  My trip to St. Louis was really productive...I got to be a part of a supervisor assessment panel, which was not only a great experience, but also helped me take some more steps in my career growth.  I got to have lunch with a great friend who I haven't seen in several months, which gave me almost 4 hours of time to indulge in my inherent snarkiness that I spend a lot time keeping in check in many social situations :)  lol.  Even though I'm way behind on my craftiness due to all the travel, I've been able to do a ton of reading.  And even with all the all the time spent out of the store, everything there held together pretty well.  All-in-all, things are heading in the right direction, and I couldn't be happier (although, I'm certainly not complaining about a little more downtime this month). 

So...I got one post in this month at least :)  We'll see if I have time for a couple more.  Either way...things are getting better, and I can feel my motivation for creating building up again.  And now, off to spend the rest of my lovely day off at my apartment with the dogs...working on Valentine Cards, hopefully :)  More later!

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Intentions 2014...

'Tis the season to recap where I ended with last year's intentions and what my new ones are for this year.  It wasn't a fully successful year with my 2013 intentions, but I made a decent go of it...not too shabby in a year full of major life changes, including an out-of-state move and a change in jobs!

2013 Recap

1) Learn stuff - take 3-4 classes for fun.  Did it!  I took a cooking class, a doodling class, and several online classes including (but not limited to) a photoshop class, a journaling class, and hand-lettering class. 

2) Take the vacation I earn.  Meh.  That's sort of a big ouch on that one, although it's mostly not my fault.  I had a week and change of vacation ready to go for a summer trip when I was at Archivers' and unfortunately when I left, not only did I not get to take that vacation, they also never paid out the time due to their Chapter 11 filing (argh).  Then when I got to World Market, I've been earning time, but for most of the time I've been there I either was in my probationary period and ineligible to take it, or in black out period for holiday time.  I did manage to sneak a couple of days in between those two.  So, mostly, I'm considering this a success (even if it is sort of a sad and depressing one).

3) At least 2 days a week, use my break at work to actually take a break and not do work!  Just so-so.  I was pretty good about this at Archiver's, and the last couple of months at World Market I've been better.  The first few months here, I absolutely was not though.   At least I'm getting back on track!

4) Make cards for every major holiday.  Did it!  Made it through even though I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it for more than a few holidays!  May have cheated a tiny bit with the copy machine at Archiver's, but alas...they got done!

5) Make sure moving to Iowa doesn't prevent me from seeing friends & family.  Solid performance!  Since I moved here, I made a trip to Michigan, Cassy, Josh, Heather and Ashley have all been out to visit me, I've been back home a lot and even got Mom out here once.  I think this one is a pretty decent success. 

6) Read 52 books.  Close enough, considering.  I made it to 30 books, which considering the insanity I dealt with after the job change, I'm considering to be a fair accomplishment anyway. 

2014 Intentions

1) Keep up with my blog.  At least 4 posts a month. 
2) Keep up with my crafty plans...Project Life and cards for every major holiday.
3) Read 52 books.  I know it's probably a stretch, but I'm feeling unreasonable today.
4) Take at least 5 classes of some kind for fun (i.e. NOT work-related).
5) Take every opportunity to stay on track with my career goals...including getting transferred back to Chicago and talking to the right people about a position in HR.
6) Maintain a better work-life balance.  Take my days off, take my breaks, take my vacation, and don't bring too much crap home to do!

That's all for now!  :)